Kenya: Defending Champions Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards Seek Cup Honors As League Action Halts

Nairobi — The FKF Premier League will take a break this weekend, with focus shifting temporarily to the FKF Cup which kicks off with the round of 32 matches across various venues.

Defending champions Gor Mahia are keen to retain the crown, and secure a ticket to play in the CAF Confederation Cup next season.

K’Ogalo, the most successful club in the competition clinched the crown when the tournament was last staged in 2021, and are keen to retain it.

Goalkeeper Gad Mathews says that with neck to neck competition in the Premier League, they need to give their all in the Cup to secure a route to Continental football.

“Cup matches are always tricky. They are not easy especially playing against grassroot teams because everyone is coming to prove a point and to show themselves on the big stage,” said Mathews.

He added; “We are looking forward to defend the title because the league is very competitive and you never know what might happen. We want to be cautious and ensure we defend this title so that we go to continental football.”

K’Ogalo start their campaign on Sunday when they play FKF Division Two side Kibera Soccer at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani.

Meanwhile, AFC Leopards will be in action on the same venue on Saturday, taking on Division One side Zetech Titans.

Leopards have won the Cup 10 times, the last being in 2017. They have not won a trophy since then and they will be keen to put their feet down and secure a title, a first under coach Patrick Aussems.

Meanwhile, three-time champions Tusker FC, who last won the title in 2016 when they clinched a season double, will start their hunt for the crown with a bout against Garissa based Berlin FC.

With no approved grounds in Garissa, and the alternative ground Meru, the match will be hosted at the Kasarani Annex.

The brewers, just like Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards are seeking the easier route to continental football and assistant coach George Maina says they will not underrate Berlin.

“From way back, this has always been the easier route to continental football. It is just five games and you have your ticket so we really need to give it 100pc and ensure we do well and clinch the ticket,” Maina said.

He added; “We don’t know much about Berlin and so we will prepare for this game same way we prepare for our league matches, with the seriousness it deserves. Of course we can change a few players here and there but we will put up a very strong team.”

In other matches, KCB will be away to the Michael Olunga Foundation Academy (MOFA) in Kisii, Bidco United play Lions FC at the Kericho Green Stadium, Ulinzi Stars tackle Kajiado FC at the Ildamat Stadium while Murang’a Seal play Luanda Villa in Mumias.


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